Harry Potter

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AuthorTopic: Harry Potter
Agent
Member # 3364
Profile Homepage #50
I used to like the series but the fourth book totally turned me off. I can appreciate some good imaginative fun with magic, but start cutting off people's hands to bring others back from the semi-dead and I'm not enjoying myself anymore.

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"Even the worst Terror from Hell can be transformed to a testimony from Heaven!" - Rev. David Wood 6\23\05

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can." - John Wesley
Posts: 1001 | Registered: Tuesday, August 19 2003 07:00
Shaper
Member # 5450
Profile Homepage #51
It was neccasary if JK wanted him to come back like that. He needed blood from an enemy — forcably taken (Harry), bone from a father — unknowingly taken (Tom Marvello Sr.), and flesh from a servant — willinginly given (Wormtail A.K.A Peter Pettigrew.

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I'll put a Spring in your step.

Polaris
Posts: 2396 | Registered: Saturday, January 29 2005 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #52
Uh, Spring: for Voldemort those may have been unavoidable necessities, but for J.K. Rowling they were arbitrary choices. She makes it all up, remember?

The series gets steadily darker, but I don't see that as a flaw. The threats were all mentioned from the beginning, but they get to seem more real and serious in a way that plausibly follows the heroes as they grow up. I don't object, but it does raise some issues about how suitable the series is for young children.

Kids who were just old enough for the first book when it came out could probably grow up along with them, but I don't see how that's going to work once the series is finished and a seven year old can burn right through them in a few weeks. We may have to think about how to let our daughter read them, once she can read.

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It is not enough to discover how things seem to seem. We must discover how things really seem.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #53
I would consider myself a reader, but not a fan, of the Potter books. There have been better series out there, and there have been worse. More coming of age stuff, just like the others, but within a different set of world rules and with different inner-demons with which he contends.

What I find especially distressing about the Potter series is the extreme marketing of the books. It's almost like a person is labeled as "bad" if they don't read/enjoy/talk about them. The Earthsea trilogy, Narnia, Swallows and Amazons, Covenant, Tolkien, and many others were equally as good/ground-breaking/healthy and they have enjoyed excellent reputations and readerships without the marketing forces that push Potter. It makes me wonder if the Rowling series would have been so successful without them. Or how much more successful the Covenant series might have been.

*this message sponsored by tom holt - please read his books*
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 5450
Profile Homepage #54
The Sunday Telegraph done a report on the 'Price Wars' Surrounding the Half-Blood Prince. I got mine for the low low price of $29.95AU, which (I think) is around $45US. Its around that.

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I'll put a Spring in your step.

Polaris
Posts: 2396 | Registered: Saturday, January 29 2005 08:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #55
Actually, that's 22.70 USD.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
desperance.net - We're Everywhere
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You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #56
I think I'm getting it for $14, or somesuch price. There's pretty deep discounting at B&N and Borders, at least near the District.

EDIT: US$22.70? Man has the dollar slipped! I remember back in 2002 when the Australian dollar was referred to as the South Pacific Peso...

[ Tuesday, July 05, 2005 10:33: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #57
About the book's genre, I think it's simply a modernization of fairy tales. Instead of farmers, kings and evil wizards, you have modern middle class families, ministers of magic and, well... evil wizards.

As for the darkness of the books, fairy tales used to be pretty dark too. Stories collected by brothers Grim are quite grim. And many other fairy tales also have plenty of darkness, including some bad endings. (The only examples I can think of are Russian, but you can probably come up with enough things from your cultures.)

[ Tuesday, July 05, 2005 11:03: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #58
I will not read this. I do not like Harry Potter, not because of the content, but because of how he wins every time. At the last minute he makes the super impossible shot every time. He goes instantly from underdog to ultimate winner with very little effort. I like effort in my heroes, Harry has none. He is a simplistic story of instant wish fulfillment.

Lets see aw shucks if I bet my last dollar on a lottery ticket, I will win a billion dollars and never live poor again. I find it moronic.

There are too many of these moments throughout the stories to make me interested. Three or four cliffhangers are enough in a story.

[ Tuesday, July 05, 2005 11:46: Message edited by: I'll Steal Your Toast ]

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Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #59
More often I think it's the case that he's bailed out by circumstance.

SPOILERS:

In the first book, his mother's love was what saved him. In the second, it was Dumbledore's pheonix with the Sorting Hat.

The next two books took a different turn: in the third, it was Dumbledore again with the time turner (though the uber-powerful Patronus spell he casts was pretty out of the blue), while in the fourth book, it's his will against the newly returned Voldemort, and he manages to get away. However, in both of these cases, his sudden power more than likely comes out of the theoretical glom of power received from Voldemort when cursed as a child as opposed to any intrinsic ability. This was made more apparent in book five when the link between them was expounded upon further.

In the fifth book, once again, Dumbledore saves the day, along with the other Order members.

So really, he doesn't break the underdog mould at any point; he remains a kid, a pretty decent student, and a very good flyer, and usually he's bailed out, because most of these conflicts are only leading up to the finale. In the most recent book, he spent a lot of time working on defense-oriented spells with his friends, so this makes sense. Nevertheless, he's also the victim of forces he (and apparently most others in his world) don't yet understand, and half the fun is finding out the truth of the matter.

Ultimately, I think it's the fact that he is kind of an everyman character that makes him (and the books) so appealing. Like Spiderman. You like Spiderman, don't you?

EDIT: I would even posit that the sort of storytelling occurring in the Harry Potter series is essentially the primary motif behind any fantasy story out there, period. There are variations, certainly - the old messianic motif (essentially every single player RPG out there), the classic underdog (Jack and the whatever), or the godlike motif (which I consider the most boring - Superman, or the David Eddings books, where the heroes can't lose if they try) - but they follow the same formula. Do you know of an alternative that works as well?

[ Tuesday, July 05, 2005 12:04: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Guardian
Member # 3521
Profile #60
quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

And many other fairy tales also have plenty of darkness, including some bad endings. (The only examples I can think of are Russian, but you can probably come up with enough things from your cultures.)
You know, when I was young my parents bought me a collection of Russian fairytales translated into English. And many of them were quite grim and dark, often dealing heavily with such concepts as jealousy, lust, and greed. These passions would lead characters to commit murders and other acts that were explicitly described. Certainly not the sort of thing a child ought to read, but my parents must not have been aware of the mature content.

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Stughalf

"Delusion arises from anger. The mind is bewildered by delusion. Reasoning is destroyed when the mind is bewildered. One falls down when reasoning is destroyed."- The Bhagavad Gita.
Posts: 1798 | Registered: Sunday, October 5 2003 07:00
Shaper
Member # 5450
Profile Homepage #61
quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:

Actually, that's 22.70 USD.
Yes, whoops. I got the conversions mixed up.

Toast: What Drew said. Most of the time he has had loads of help, wether it be from Dumbledore, Hermione/Ron, or even Hagrid. The Triwizard tournament in GoF was made easy for him by Mad Eye Moody, A.K.A Barty Crouch Jr. (spoiler).

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I'll put a Spring in your step.

Polaris
Posts: 2396 | Registered: Saturday, January 29 2005 08:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #62
quote:
Originally written by Stugri-La:

quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

And many other fairy tales also have plenty of darkness, including some bad endings. (The only examples I can think of are Russian, but you can probably come up with enough things from your cultures.)
You know, when I was young my parents bought me a collection of Russian fairytales translated into English. And many of them were quite grim and dark, often dealing heavily with such concepts as jealousy, lust, and greed. These passions would lead characters to commit murders and other acts that were explicitly described. Certainly not the sort of thing a child ought to read, but my parents must not have been aware of the mature content.

Nice. :) Wich fairy tales did you read?

Are Russian books particularly popular in India? (You are second Indian person who told me that he read Russian books as a child.)

[ Tuesday, July 05, 2005 14:13: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #63
Andrew: That's only heroic fantasy. Byzantine intrigue fantasy, for instance, tends to have quite different motifs. That goes back to the idea of Harry Potter tying into the more fairy tale-ish tropes. Without the dismemberment.

—Alorael, who can see a little more Grimm gore in the newer books. Rowling is heading that way.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #64
Byzantine intrigue fantasy? I'm intrigued. :) Do you have any examples?
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Guardian
Member # 3521
Profile #65
quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

Nice. :) Wich fairy tales did you read?

Are Russian books particularly popular in India? (You are second Indian person who told me that he read Russian books as a child.)

After a fruitless search through the basement, I'm left to conclude that my old book of Russian fairytales has, in one way or another, met its doom. We've donated more than a few unwanted books to book sales over the years, and that's probably what happened to this one. I'm afraid that I can't remember the names of any of the tales I read back then, unfortunately.

I'm unsure as to the popularity of Russian books in India. I wasn't born there, and I've only been there once in my life. However, my parents were born in India, and perhaps that accounts for their acquisition of the book for me.

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Stughalf

"Delusion arises from anger. The mind is bewildered by delusion. Reasoning is destroyed when the mind is bewildered. One falls down when reasoning is destroyed."- The Bhagavad Gita.
Posts: 1798 | Registered: Sunday, October 5 2003 07:00
Bob's Big Date
Member # 3151
Profile Homepage #66
Tournament of Shadows and all that.

You know that a synopsis would do as well as a name, right? Some of them might be obscure, but surely Zeviz would probably be about as able to discern from generalities as a Russian as you would be able to tell as an American that stories about "a good-hearted giant with a big blue draft ox who travelled around the frontier, often accidentally creating landmarks" would be those about Paul Bunyan.

On Harry Potter: as someone whose first exposure to heavy literary concepts not enshrouded in charismatic religion was a comic book about the Holocaust at a one-digit age, I find the revulsion at wizards cutting off one another's hands to be almost comical. I don't believe in ugliness presented to children for its own sake, but it exists in the world and the worst you can possibly do is raise a human being who is unable to recognize or care about the needless cruelties of humankind.

[ Wednesday, July 06, 2005 16:19: Message edited by: George A. Custer & The SE Party ]

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The biggest, the baddest, and the fattest.
Posts: 2367 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
Guardian
Member # 2476
Profile #67
quote:
The Earthsea trilogy, Narnia, Swallows and Amazons, Covenant, Tolkien, and many others were equally as good/ground-breaking/healthy
I liked the Earthsea trilogy, but the Covenant books were something else entirely. There's a depth in them than I didn't expect.

edit: Oh, and I never read a Harry Potter book, nor do I intend to. Too much PR for my liking.

[ Wednesday, July 06, 2005 17:21: Message edited by: ef ]

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Polaris
Posts: 1828 | Registered: Saturday, January 11 2003 08:00
Guardian
Member # 3521
Profile #68
quote:
Originally written by George A. Custer & The SE Party:

You know that a synopsis would do as well as a name, right? Some of them might be obscure, but surely Zeviz would probably be about as able to discern from generalities as a Russian as you would be able to tell as an American that stories about "a good-hearted giant with a big blue draft ox who travelled around the frontier, often accidentally creating landmarks" would be those about Paul Bunyan.
You're quite right. Problem is, I last read these fairytales several years ago, and I can hardly recall any more than the most lurid details. I can't piece the plots together for the life of me. My only hope was to find the book itself, and it seems to be gone.

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Stughalf

"Delusion arises from anger. The mind is bewildered by delusion. Reasoning is destroyed when the mind is bewildered. One falls down when reasoning is destroyed."- The Bhagavad Gita.
Posts: 1798 | Registered: Sunday, October 5 2003 07:00
Agent
Member # 3364
Profile Homepage #69
quote:
Originally written by Alec:
I find the revulsion at wizards cutting off one another's hands to be almost comical.
My revulsion is quite unreasonable, considering how I love LotR with the very frequent chopping off of limbs and heads and death in general. Of course war and blood/flesh sacrifice are two very different things in my mind. Then there's always my own brush with witchcraft that causes me to run the opposite direction whenever it is mentioned. The fourth book really opened my eyes to what I was reading about, and finding enjoyment in, and imitating. My unsheltered childhood had desensitized me to the ways of the world enough that I was embracing them. Now I am painfully aware of all refrences to witchcraft. I cannot even watch Tom and Jerry and the Magic Ring without cringing. So go ahead and laugh, my brother. Go ahead and laugh.

[ Thursday, July 07, 2005 07:08: Message edited by: Jewels of the Forest ]

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"Even the worst Terror from Hell can be transformed to a testimony from Heaven!" - Rev. David Wood 6\23\05

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can." - John Wesley
Posts: 1001 | Registered: Tuesday, August 19 2003 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5566
Profile #70
quote:
Originally written by Stugri-La:

quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

And many other fairy tales also have plenty of darkness, including some bad endings. (The only examples I can think of are Russian, but you can probably come up with enough things from your cultures.)
You know, when I was young my parents bought me a collection of Russian fairytales translated into English. And many of them were quite grim and dark, often dealing heavily with such concepts as jealousy, lust, and greed. These passions would lead characters to commit murders and other acts that were explicitly described. Certainly not the sort of thing a child ought to read, but my parents must not have been aware of the mature content.

Yes we Russians are very dark I myself am extremely violent my idea of A good book/movie is one where the hero kills many people in a very bloody way or dies in the same nature. And yes I know I am messed up I am reminded daily by my ten brothers and sisters

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Why are you reading this ?
Posts: 507 | Registered: Tuesday, March 1 2005 08:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #71
Alec - talking about Maus?

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
====
Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
desperance.net - We're Everywhere
====
You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Bob's Big Date
Member # 3151
Profile Homepage #72
quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:

Alec - talking about Maus?
Natch. Excellent book.

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The biggest, the baddest, and the fattest.
Posts: 2367 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #73
Stug, now I am very intrigued. I can't think of any fairy tale that would be so dark and graphic that its lurid details would be so firmly imprinted in reader's memory. :) Could you PM me whatever you remember about that book.

Hawk King, I don't think Russians are any more violent than Americans, or anybody else (at least based on the people I've encountered). As for darkness in some of our literature, it's more of a reflection of willingness to admit the existence of bad things in life.

And there is plenty of dark Western literature. Brothers Grim are a classic example in fairy tales department. (I've looked over Grim fairy tales yesterday and they look even less child-appropriate than latest Harry Potter books. :) )

[ Thursday, July 07, 2005 16:09: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5754
Profile #74
I got a certificate for a copy of HBP for my birthday and my sister got really mad when she found out because she wanted to read it first.

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I AM A MINOTAUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I AM INVADING THE SHAPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ALL SHALL FALL TO MY WRATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posts: 626 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00

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